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Escorted Rail Tours to Cologne

Famous for its perfume

Cologne was raised to a 'colony' (hence the name), with city status by the Romans in 50 AD, and was later absorbed into the Gallic Empire, becoming the capital from 260-271. The city was highly prized by both of these communities, due mainly to its location on the River Rhine, which placed it at the intersection of the major trade routes east and west, and was the basis of Cologne's growth. In addition to this, several saints were martyred in the city and the relics of the Three Magi were acquired from Milan. Cologne then also became a center of ecclesiastical importance, as well as a pilgrimage center, meaning the city continued to prosper in the middle ages as a result. Following a slight decline in the city's fortunes, Cologne experienced something of a renaissance in the 18th century with a recipe involving distilling flower blossoms in alcohol. This 'toilet water' achieved worldwide fame as eau de Cologne.

Although Cologne was badly damaged in the Second World War, the Cathedral survived, and extensive restoration work has since taken place throughout the city. In the modern age Cologne has reclaimed its old role as a major trade and business center - now a radio and television metropolis, and a beer city, with over twenty breweries producing Kölsch, the distinctive local beer. Whilst in Cologne you really ought to visit the vast Cathedral. The foundation stone was laid in 1248, and it was finally completed in 1880. Called "the mother of all German churches", it is one of the largest Gothic structures ever built, and its size reflects its power - it is the seat of the Primate of Germany. The Cathedral was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1996, and today you can see the relics of the Three Magi, and climb the south tower for a spectacular view of the city and the Rhine.

Sightseeing in Cologne
Cologne's Old Town, which has been carefully restored to preserve its pre-war appearance, is also a joy to discover. It spreads from just south of the Cathedral to the bank of the Rhine. Here you can admire the tall and narrow pastel-coloured houses, set out along the Old Town's winding streets, as you wander to the Rhine Promenade for a stroll along the river. There are many traditional brewery taverns close to the Old Town, all of which serve Kölsch beer - brewed only in Cologne. You may wish to visit at least one of these to sample the beer for yourself.

If you have the time to explore further, Cologne boasts an assemblage of both Roman and medieval remains that is unsurpassed in Germany. For example Eigelsteintor, one of the three surviving magnificent city gates, is a short distance north. The other gates, Severinstor and Hahnentor, are further afield but also worth a visit.

We’ve found 24 tours for you matching: Escorted Rail Tours to Cologne

Delights of the Danube

Experience the magic of the Danube as we cruise comfortably through Imperial Vienna and Budapest. Step back in time as we explore the Ottoman and Habsburg empires, with plenty of opportunities to taste the regional specialties - a real treat for all the senses.

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2020MayJunJulAugSep

9 days from $2,665 pp

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Five-Star Rhine Cruise

From Switzerland to the Netherlands, this spectacular cruise reveals the majesty of the Rhine River in all its fairytale glory. We uncover beautiful valley gorges, splendid halftimbered towns and many of the remarkable cities that line the banks of this grand old river. Sailing through four countries, we uncover unique experiences including German heritage rail journeys, French city tours and Dutch steam trains.

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2020JunJulAugSepOct

8 days from $1,965 pp

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Glacier Express & St Moritz

Dramatic mountain scenery and beautiful lakes provide the setting for this magnificent tour, as we take the iconic Glacier Express through the Swiss Alps, staying in glamorous St Moritz, and Zermatt, where we enjoy breathtaking views of the Matterhorn.

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2020JunSep

10 days from $3,895 pp

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Glacier Express in Winter

This adventurous twin-center rail vacation provides ample opportunity to explore the majestic Swiss Alps cloaked in their winter finery, and to enjoy our trip on the famous Glacier Express, surely the slowest, and certainly one of the most scenic 'express' trains in the world.

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2020JanFebMar

8 days from $2,165 pp

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Grand Alpine Explorer

Stretching across much of mainland Europe, the wild and rugged Alps are home to some of the world's most magnificent landscapes. On this marvellous vacation we discover incredible attractions in 3 of the countries around these towering peaks - from the German city of Munich and the beautiful Austrian Lakes, to Switzerland's superb mountain railroads.

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2020JunJulAug

14 days from $4,580 pp

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Austrian Alps All-Inclusive

Explore the mighty Austrian Alps on this wonderful vacation to one of Europe's most scenic and alluring countries. From our base in the enchanting Tyrolean town of St Johann, we discover the majesty of this Alpine wonderland.

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2020MayJunJulAugSep

9 days from $1,580 pp

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First Class Glacier Express in Winter

Spectacular views and stunning scenery have made the Glacier Express from Brig to Chur famous the world over. Shimmering winter peaks and sugar-frosted forests provide a picture-postcard backdrop to our wonderful winter rail adventure, taking in some of the very best that Switzerland has to offer.

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2020JanFebMar

9 days from $2,955 pp

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Romantic Rhine, Black Forest & Lake Constance

We explore Lake Constance and make a scenic rail journey to the iconic Black Forest on a vacation that also includes mighty waterfalls, a medieval lakeside town, and a beautiful garden island.

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2020MayJunSep

10 days from $3,035 pp

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Cologne's Wonderful Markets

Cologne has seven incredible bustling Christmas markets to choose from. Sample local bratwurst, beers and mulled wine in Europe's Christmas market capital, before we pay a visit to West Germany's former capital, the magnificent city of Bonn.

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2019Dec

4 days from $735 pp

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First Class Glacier Express at Christmas

Our festive rail vacation is a fantastic way to experience exciting train journeys on the Glacier Express and Bernina Express. Enjoy wonderful excursions and explore the beautiful winter landscapes of Switzerland.

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2019Dec

9 days from $3,515 pp

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First Class Glacier Express at New Year

Celebrate the New Year in style on this magnificent tour. Traveling in First Class throughout, we discover some of Switzerland's most beautiful winter landscapes, such as the mountain resort of Zermatt and the lakeside city of Lucerne, and make spectacular journeys on some of Europe's most iconic trains such as the Glacier Express and Bernina Express.

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2019Dec

9 days from $3,315 pp

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Interlaken & the Jungfrau Express at Christmas

Celebrate an unforgettable Christmas with a breathtaking ride on the Jungfrau Railroad to the highest train station in Europe, a spectacular ascent of the Schilthorn, a winter wonderland carriage ride from Grindelwald amongst the snowy Alpine peaks and a visit to charming Mürren.

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2019Dec

7 days from $2,745 pp

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